Drilling Down

Coalition Urges 7th Rejection of Oil and Gas Drilling Amendment

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Opponents of a Youngstown charter amendment that would prohibit activity related to the extraction of oil and gas in the city urged voters to once again reject the measure, following an Ohio Supreme Court decision Tuesday.

The state high court ruled that the Mahoning County Board of Elections “abused its discretion” by deciding that the proposed charter amendment exceeded the city’s legislative power and kept it off the May ballot.

“Given the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision yesterday placing the community bill of rights charter amendment on the ballot for the seventh time, the Mahoning County Coalition for Job Growth and Investment announces its efforts to once again defeat this measure at the ballot,” the coalition announced today.  

The coalition, organized by the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, includes local political leaders, labor organizations, area business leaders and community groups.

The elections board based its decision on state law, which gives the Ohio Department of Natural Resources jurisdiction over oil and gas drilling and related activities.

The Youngstown Drinking Water Protection Bill of Rights will now appear on the May 8 ballot. City voters have rejected versions of the amendment that appeared on the Youngstown ballot six times previously.

“By defeating this measure at the ballot six straight times, Youngstown voters have already sent an undeniable message that they do not want this job-killing measure,” the coalition said in a news release issued this morning by the chamber. The proposed amendment would “drive away local jobs and opportunity, put a ‘closed for business’ sign on the city and Valley, and could subject the city to costly lawsuits that taxpayers would have to fund,” it warned.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.